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OML Based Promotions

Social Media Update

OML Based Promotions

The Army released new guidance around SFC promotions to MSG and how the Order of Merit List (OML).

These changes take effect with the June 2021 promotion month. This will directly impact the timing of SFC’s selected to attend MLC and ultimately when they will be eligible for promotion to MSG.

Posted below is the exact message language published by Army HRC.

OML-Based Promotions

After 51 years of promoting NCOs from an annual promotion selection list, for the very first time, the Army will select eligible NCOs for promotion from an annual order of merit list (OML) stemming from an NCO Evaluation Board. The OML is not a promotion list. Only NCOs who meet all of the requirements for promotion (from that OML) are eligible and that condensed list (in OML order) constitutes the list of who can be promoted.

For the June 2021 promotion month, the Army will use the FY21 Sergeant First Class (SFC) OML to inform which SFC meet all of the eligibility criteria (PME, TIG, TIS, not flagged, etc.) for promotion to Master Sergeant (MSG).

The Army establishes eligibility for promotion selection based on individual Soldiers’ qualifications as of 26 April 2021 for promotion pin-on for the June 2021 promotion month. Of course, there must also be requirements (shortages) in an MOS too. NCOs selected for promotion to MSG effective 1 June 2021 will be announced on/about 15 May 2021.

There will be one obvious outcome that may raise questions: Many NCOs with lower OML numbers (i.e., # 1, 2, 3 etc.) will not be selected for promotion over others with higher OML numbers because they are not eligible for promotion.

Why will this happen?

The FY21 SFC Evaluation Board OML contains 23,386 SFC who were established as Most Qualified (MQ)/Fully Qualified (FQ) by the board. When eligibility criteria (as of 26 April 2021) for promotion to MSG is applied to those names, a total of 1,886 (or 8%) are actually eligible for promotion effective on 1 June 2021. Eligibility for promotion to MSG includes (for example) meeting the TIS/TIG requirements, being a MLC graduate, and being in good standing (not flagged).

The OML also informs selection for MLC attendance. There are 19,494 NCOs who are not graduates of MLC on that OML. The Army began to use that OML to select SFC for MLC attendance in March 2021. Each month, more and more of the NCOs on the OML with low sequence numbers (i.e., # 1, 2, 3 etc.) will be selected for MLC training seats and each month, as they graduate, they will become eligible for promotion selection. This evolution and transition from one set of procedures to a new one is unavoidable and in time, as merit-based OML training opportunities are realized, merit-based OML promotions will be realized. It simply takes time to see the effects of change.


1)  Be patient as the Army transitions

2)  Be aware of promotion requirements by looking at the quarterly promotion projections at:

3)  Do not miss your training opportunity when it is made available to you